It’s hard to attend social gatherings these days without conversations dovetailing into Middle East peacekeeping. Discussions can turn into heated exchanges depending on whether you’re in favor of a Palestinian state or not. Even Jews differ on this issue. But one thing seems universal â€“ many form a viewpoint on this tumultuous region of the world before knowing its history. Anyone who cares to preserve the only pro-Western, democratic, non-Islamic country in the Middle East might want to reconsider.
Unlike Israel, who became a nation as early as 1300 BCE some two thousand years before Islam, there was never a Palestinian nation. Once Jews re-inhabited their homeland of Judea and Samaria (now Israel) in 1948, the notion of a Palestinian nation gained popularity. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that supports this. There is not a Palestinian language, a distinct Palestinian culture or even land once ruled by Palestinians.
Instead, this is what occurred. In 1922, Britain allocated nearly 80 percent of the area called Palestine to Transjordan. Then in 1947, the UN partitioned the remaining land into two states: one Arab and one Jewish. And presto: the Jewish land became Israel and the Arab land became Jordan (formerly TransJordan).
The division between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East was not too different than when the British parceled out land a few years later to Hindi state, India, in 1950, and Islamic state, Pakistan in 1956.
So, why the conflict? Israel’s birth as a modern nation in 1948 did not occur peacefully. Her Arab neighborsâ€”Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraqâ€”attacked her. Israel remained outnumbered with 650,000 Jews against 40 million Arabs. The result of this attack created an ArabÂ refugee crisis, which only intensified as neighboring Arab countries refused asylum and sealed their borders. These displaced Arabs identified with the term â€œPalestiniansâ€ and began referring to themselves as belonging to the Palestinian people in 1967, nearly two decades after Israel became a modern state. As the unrest worsened, there has become a global concern to create a Palestinian state.
But for Israel it’s less about the legitimacy of the state and more about theÂ location. There just isn’t enough land. Not only did the UN parcel out more land to TransJordan for an Arab state but Israel is one of the tiniest nations on Earth. Unlike neighboring Arab countries that occupy large landmasses (Saudia Arabia is 1/4th the size of the United States), Israel is a small strip of land about the size of New Jersey.
Nearly daily, Israel defends herself against Hamas, who regularly launches mortar fire and missiles into Israel as it occupies the Gaza Strip bordering Israel’s southeastern corner. Then, there’s Fatah, who is occupying the West Bank in the center of Israel. These aggressive occupations have put Israel in a defense posture 24x7 making any agreement for a Palestinian state in Israel a recipe for disaster.
Israel has made great strides for peace in the past. To encourage peace with Egypt, Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. But these days there are far too Arab neighbors eagerÂ to stake claim to a piece of Israel. Both Jordan and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have made it clear that they want the Gaza Strip. And the PA is even vying for Jerusalem. Syria continues to claim theÂ Golan Heights (the one location that gives Israel a strategic upperhand militarily as all of its Arab neighbors are visible from that site). At some point, there needs to be a reality check. Israel will no longer be a country if every Arab nation is encouraged to take a piece of her.
The fact remains that “Palestine” listed on any map is not just part of Israel but MOST of the land is in present day Jordan.
Other options could include using excess land from any of the 22 large Arab neighbors. These states are 640 times Israel’s size, 60 times her population and they occupy oil reserves where Israel has none. Taking away more land for yet another Arab nation only diminishes Israel’s right to exist.
It’s also worth noting that the average GDP per capita in Arab countries is $4,765 (2009 Estimate) versus $28,271 (2009 Estimate) for Israel. Even with the world’s largest oil reserves at their disposal, a two state solution translates into Israel’s successful culture footing the bill.
Many terrorists groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and others are a hard sell when they’re hell bent on Israel’s destruction. Don’t count on a big welcoming committee on either side. Especially, when these same terrorists groups constantly send in suicide bombers into Israel’s crowded streets and launch mortar fire and missiles at her citizens.
Land taken from Israel is a recipe for failure. Land taken from Jordan (or any other Arab nation) is a recipe for success.
If the Arabs (Muslims) put down their weapons today there would be no more violence. If the Israelis put down their weapons today there would be no more Israel. — Anonymous